3 Ways a High-Sodium Diet Affects Your Eye Health

Do you eat a lot of salty foods? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American consumes at least 3400 milligrams of sodium every day even though less than 2300 milligrams is the recommendation.

Unfortunately, a high-sodium diet can be detrimental to your health, even your visual health. One thing you may not expect to hear when you go in for an eye exam in Coldwater, MS is that your salt intake could be too high. Check out some of the ways that a lot of salt can negatively affect your visual health.

Heightened risks of cataracts

High sodium intake has been directly linked to cataract formation in the eyes, specifically posterior subscapular cataracts. Salt affects a lot of things about how the eye functions, which may heighten your risks. If you are at risk of cataracts already, it is important to be especially vigilant about monitoring how much salt you consume on a daily basis.

Changes in intraocular pressure

Intraocular pressure is a medical term used to refer to the level of pressure within the eye on the blood vessels. Individuals with glaucoma usually have abnormally high levels of intraocular pressure, which over time affects the quality of eyesight. Unfortunately, consuming a lot of salt may negatively affect intraocular pressure and generate even more risks of glaucoma.

Restricted blood flow to your eyes

Salt changes how fluid is distributed throughout the body, including in your eyes. If you have restricted blood flow to the eyes, this can mean your visual health is at risk. When blood flow is impeded to a great extent, this can actually cause your vision to get blurry. The blood pumped into the eye feeds oxygen to the retina, and without the oxygen, the retina cannot function properly.

Monitor Your Visual Health with the Help of a Coldwater Eye Doctor

So many aspects of your everyday life can have a part to play in your visual health. Be sure to work with a Coldwater, MS eye doctor to form a comprehensive preventative care plan for your eyes. Reach out to us at the Coldwater Vision Center to schedule an appointment.

What Is a Dilated Eye Exam? 

During a dilated eye exam, your eye doctor in Coldwater, MS, uses eyedrops to widen your pupils. This allows them to more clearly see the retina in the back of your eyes. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision, and this test is often part of a routine eye exam, especially if you have existing medical conditions or a family history of glaucoma.

Uses for a Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam is used to diagnose diseases and conditions that affect the eye. These include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Brain tumor
  • Head injury
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Age-related macular degeneration

Early diagnosis and treatment are key in preventing vision loss. A dilated eye exam can help your eye doctor develop an early treatment plan in the event you have a medical condition that affects your vision.

What to Expect During Your Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam is relatively routine. First, your eye doctor places drops in your eyes that cause your pupils to dilate, or widen. This allows more light to enter and makes it easier for your vision specialist to see what’s happening inside your eye. It takes around 15 to 20 minutes for the eyedrops to become fully effective. At this point, your eye professional will shine a light into your eyes to examine them.

A dilated eye exam is not painful, though your vision may remain a bit blurry for a few hours afterward. Your eyes may also feel sensitive to bright light for several hours following your exam. Sunglasses will help. If you anticipate a dilated eye exam, bring a friend with you to your appointment, so they can drive you home afterward.

Call Coldwater Vision Center Today

If it’s time to schedule a dilated eye exam in Coldwater, MS, Coldwater Vision Center is happy to help. Call today to schedule an appointment with our friendly and experienced vision specialists, and be sure to inform your eye doctor if you’re worried about glaucoma, retinopathy, or other conditions that affect the eyes. A dilated eye exam is easy enough to perform, and it can help you obtain the early diagnosis you need to begin treatment for common eye disorders.

How Your Vision Care Plan Changes After a Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes affects roughly 10 percent of the population here in the United States. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can expect your vision care plan to change in a few noteworthy ways.

More Frequent Eye Exams

For most healthy adults, medical professionals agree that getting an eye exam every one or two years will suffice to keep close tabs on eye health. However, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is recommended that you have your eyes examined every year, and possibly more if you have vision problems. Because 1 in 5 people with diabetes does develop some kind of issue with their vision or eyes, keeping a closer watch on your eye health will be important. As an adage, anyone who has diabetes and gets pregnant should have their eyes checked during the first three months of pregnancy and then again around 12 months after the baby is born.

In-Depth Examinations to Look for Signs of Vision Problems

Most eye doctors perform a comprehensive eye exam regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. However, if you do have diabetes, the doctor will be looking for signs of certain diseases, retinal changes, and other issues that are prevalent among people with diabetes. For example, you will get a dilated eye exam, which means special drops will be put into your eyes to force pupil dilation, so the eye doctor can examine the back structures of your eye more closely.

Your Eye Doctor Will Be Asking About Diabetes Control

Most general eye exams will involve some discussion of your current health status, as your overall health affects your eye health. However, when you have diabetes, the eye doctor will also be interested in how well your diabetes is being controlled. They may ask questions like:

  • If you are taking medications for diabetes management
  • How often you are checking your blood sugar levels
  • What your latest results were from an A1C blood test

These questions can give the doctor further insight into what problems you may be experiencing with your vision that are related to your blood sugar levels.

Talk to a Coldwater Eye Doctor About Visual Health and Diabetes

The better you take care of your vision with diabetes, the less likely it will be that you develop problems. If you have diabetes and need help with visual health, reach out to us at Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS to schedule an appointment.